Edge of the City

Synopsis: Drifter Axel North has just arrived in New York City, having traveled from city to city throughout the country. Given the name Charlie Malick as a contact by an acquaintance named Ed Faber, Axel is able to get a job working as a stevedore in Charlie's gang on the dockyards. Little did Axel know that Charlie is corrupt, requiring payola for that job, and is a racist. It is solely because of the color of his skin that Charlie hates his fellow gang boss, Tommy Tyler, a black man. It is also because he can see that Axel is a little wet behind the ears that Tommy tries to befriend him to get him out from under Charlie's thumb. Due solely to the reason that he is a drifter, Axel is slow to warm and open up to Tommy, eventually providing some basic information: that he is originally from Gary, Indiana, that his real surname is Nordmann, and that the only person he has ever really loved in his life was his older brother Andy, whose death exacerbated the already strained relationship he has wit
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Martin Ritt
Production: MGM
85 min

Excuse me.

- Are you in charge here?

- Yeah.

I'm looking for a guy

named Charlie Malik.

He ain't here. He works the day shift.

- Excuse me.

- Yeah?

Thing is, I'm looking for work.

Nothing I can do for you, kid.

You'll have to come back in the morning.


Long-distance, what's the night rate

to Gary, Indiana, please?

- Person-to-person.

- One moment, please.

One dollar and 80 cents, sir.

I want to call Gary, 2860.

And I wanna talk to

Mrs. George Nordmann.

That's Nordmann.

N- O-R-D-M-A-N-N.

- Hello.

Is this Gary, 2860?

Yeah, that's right.

Mrs. George Nordmann there?

Yeah, she's here,

but I wanna know who's calling.

One dollar and 80 cents, sir.

George, who is it?

- It's him again. Operator...

- Please, George, let me.

Now, listen, Katherine,

there's no point in your talking to him.

Find out where

the call is coming from.

Tell him to knock this business off

or I'll break his neck.



Axel, is it you?


Hello, Mom. Hello.


Is anyone there?

I'm here, Mom. I miss you.

- Operator? Operator?


- No one answers. No one is there.

- But the line is open, madam.

But nobody answers.

Where is this coming from?

- New York.

- Three times...

San Francisco, Denver and St. Louis,

and no one ever answers.

Axel, please say something.

I'm here, Mom.

Mama, I want to talk to you.

You quit this now, do you hear me?

Haven't you done enough?

You're killing your mother.

Do you understand what I'm saying?

You're killing your mother.

The party disconnected, sir.

Operator, I want to know

exactly where this call came from.

I'll check and call you, sir.

Come on, Katherine. Come on.

What did we do to him?

What did we do to make him like this?

We didn't do anything.

It isn't our fault.

What did we do?

Hey, man, wake up.

Hey, wake up.

I don't know if you left a call

with the desk, but it's about that time.

- It's morning?

- It is.

Gendarmes are about,

don't wanna get pulled in as a vag.

Thanks. I didn't mean to fall asleep,

I was waiting for the morning shift.

Well, you're looking at a cat that's

exactly seven minutes late for that shift.

- You looking for a job?

- Yeah.

Listen, who do I ask for

in the front office?

Guy named Davis.

You shouldn't have any trouble.

If you do, ask for me.

My name's Tyler.

Should be okay,

I got a contact inside named Malik.

- Charlie Malik. Do you know him?

- Yeah, I know him.

And you don't need my help,

good friend.


Mr. Davis, he's been out four weeks

with appendicitis.

Here's a doctor's certificate.

- You feel okay?

- Oh, yes, sir.

There's a lot of work to do out there.

I don't want you to work

unless you feel okay.

- Oh, I'm okay.

- All right, then. Get to work.


- Mr. Davis?

- That's right.

I'm a friend of Charlie Malik's.

I was told I could get a job here.

- Wallace, send Malik in here, will you?

- Right away.

- Pull up a chair, kid. Sit down.

- Yes, sir.

- You want coffee?

- No, just a job.

Here, take a look at this application.

- Can you read and write?

- Yes, sir.

Well, you'd be surprised.

We got some guys can't read and write.

Well, they can read and write numbers,

that's all.

We can use them for truckers,

but not for stevedores.

Hey, you wanted to see me, Ray?

I mean, a lot of work out there.

Don't yell at me if it ain't done,

you know what I mean?

Friend of yours here, looking for work.

Some friend of mine?

Yeah. We met through Ed Fabre.


Oh, yeah.

- How is Ed?

- Fine, fine, last time I saw him.

- Where was that?

- Frisco.

- What's your name?

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Robert Alan Aurthur

Robert Alan Aurthur (June 10, 1922 – November 20, 1978) was an American screenwriter, director and producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Edge of the City" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Oct. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/edge_of_the_city_7472>.

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